Inquiry, strategy, context: Information literacy threshold concepts and the curriculum
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Threshold concepts have recently ignited the discussion around information literacy, and have provided a context for librarians to re-evaluate how we contribute to student success. Last year, the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) launched its new Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education for use by librarians and other educators. Structured around six threshold concepts, the Framework envisions information literacy as a set of core understandings and dispositions that are key for students’ discovery and ethical use of information. Each of the six threshold concepts describes the characteristics of novice and expert learners, a set of knowledge practices or applications of the concept, and a set of affective dispositions. The six frames are as follows: Authority is Constructed and Contextual; Information Creation as a Process; Information Has Value; Research as Inquiry; Scholarship as Conversation; and Searching as Strategic Exploration. Information literacy has implications for every discipline and every student. Helping students cross information literacy’s conceptual thresholds requires integration throughout the curriculum, collaboration, and consideration by educators and administrators. In this session, we will introduce participants to the Framework, and to the “big questions” we have identified that could be captured through use of the six threshold concepts. In the workshop portion of the session, participants will map the Framework’s threshold concepts to tangible assignments or learning outcomes relevant to their courses. We will also engage participants in brainstorming ways to weave the Framework’s core concepts into the curriculum and identify opportunities for partnerships across the university. Participants will leave this session with a clearer sense of the breadth of information literacy, as well as new ideas for enhancing their course content to integrate information literacy concepts into their assignments and teaching.
McNiff, L., & Helwig, M. (2016, June). Inquiry, strategy, context: Information literacy threshold concepts and the curriculum. Presentation at Threshold Concepts Conference, Halifax, NS.